PhD Student, Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology
Ben Gansky (he/him) is a PhD student in the Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology Program at SFIS. He is a formally-trained, award-winning artist and game designer, holding an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University and a BFA with honors from University of Minnesota. In 2017, Ben co-founded (and remains the executive director of) Free Machine, a nonprofit collective developing narrative experiences and policy provocations that enliven the intersection of progressive politics, emerging technologies, and civic participation. Free Machine's work received a special commendation from 4S' Making and Doing section in 2021. Ben was named a 2018 Institute for the Future Fellow for Good; he went on to work at IFTF in their Equitable Futures Lab and remains a research affiliate there. Ben’s research interests center on democratic technology governance; social theories, politics, and histories of data; and participatory civics. His current projects include a surrealist performance lecture provisionally titled Do Graphics Processing Units Have Politics? and an ethnographic study of relations, working practices, and normative values in the building and maintenance of digital infrastructures for participatory democracy in Barcelona and Taipei. He and his partner live in Minneapolis, on the ancestral territory of the Oceti Sakowin tribes.